Project scope

Redesign a website

This page represents: 1 University, 4 Research Institutes, 20 Departments, 48 Clinics, 9 Faculty Institutes.

Target audiences: 14.

Project length: 3 years.

Project team: 75+ people.


  1. The old website was built as a 1000+ page archive, rather than a marketing tool.
  2. The project did not reflect the brand image.
  3. The website did not effectively communicate client’s competitive advantages.
  4. The structure of the website had a depth of six levels,
  5. The pages were overloaded with text.

Analysis process

After the first meetings, we understood that there was more than one project in the scope.

In order to persuade students from abroad to seriously consider a university, a different set of tools and messages is needed compared to those that are needed to serve the existing employees.

Therefore, we decided to separate the scope of the project into several sub-projects, grouping them according to the persuasion tools needed for each target audience.

Preliminary research

Direct and indirect competitor and category communication analysis, target audience  (potential new students) research. Analysis of a present brand situation.

Results: Competitor SWOT, Category trends, Product purchase intent mechanics.


Seprating the project into several sub-projects

  • Brand image pages: to communicate the values of the brand.
  • Sales pages: to present products and end with a sales lead.
  • Self-service/help function for existing students and personnel.
  • Units within the organization that needed personalized solutions.
  • Integrations with third-party systems.

Result: Different briefs for each project (task separation, different storytelling scenarios, easier project management).

Grouping of target audiences.

Each target audience was analyzed through the lens of user behavior and expectations while visiting a website.

User needs were prioritized according to information gathered both in the purchase intent mechanics process research and through direct interviews.

As a result, different briefs were created for the different sub-projects.

User personas

A set of user personas was created for each target group. The user needs were listed and then ordered according to the buildup of purchase intent. The priority of the brand message was checked through the filter of each user. First, we listed the strongest brand messages (competitive advantages) from the brand’s perspective, and then reorganized them into a list of the strongest messages from the user’s perspective.

Strategic insights

We assembled brand messages into a story backbone structure for each audience.

As a result, we came up with an idea for an umbrella message.

Umbrella message

The Lithuanian University of Health Sciences is both an educational institution and a medical network. Lecturers from the university are also doctors in hospitals that belong to the LSMU network. This enables students to learn from both theoretical and practical backgrounds.

Persuasion mechanics

This is an example of persuasion path building with the AIDA model. We analyzed full consumer journey paths from ‘I am not aware of the brand’ to ‘I have become a client,’ and then clarified the role of the website in this process.

The results broadened the scope into the territory of Google search engine optimization strategy.

Sell paths

20+ persuasion models for various target audiences were built.

  1. The strongest brand messages were identified.
  2. The category intent of purchase was identified.
  3. User personas with full stories and behavior models were built.
  4. The first three were overlapped.
  5. Persuasion paths were constructed out of messages that are most likely to saturate a user into brand trust in the shortest amount of time/clicks.
  6. The content was directed into an immersive storytelling rhythm.

An example of a result for one landing page can be seen below.

At first, it seemed that this project was going to be impossible to handle. However, team had a clear plan, worked extremely consistently, creatively maneuvered in difficult situations - we were able to feel calm, safe, and assured.

Grytė Žitkienė LSMU Head of Communications Department

Google Search Engine Optimization strategy

The research included:

  1. Finding out which countries have the highest volume and price per click from a search engine point of view.
  2. Key phrase analysis from general ones, such as ‘medical school,’ to more specific ones, like ‘study medicine in Eastern Europe’ and brand-specific ones, like ‘study LSMU.’
  3. English and local language key phrases for each country with detailed statistics for each phrase.
  4. English and local language similar phrases for each country with detailed statistics for each phrase.
  5. Analysis of the competitor websites that get the most traffic for each phrase.
  6. We provided a framework for traffic building and organic Google search position optimization:
  • Which words should be transformed into key phrases and optimized in various scenarios.
  • How to set up funnels in Google Analytics.
  • Media purchase strategy.
  • Content strategy outside of the website.
  • Non-media traffic building.
  • Recommendations on content creation and general SEO hygiene.

Content preparation recommendations

Marketing perspective

Content writers have to be aligned with the general project objectives and the approved means of achieving those objectives. In this case, the objectives were:

  • Structure flattening.
  • Reduction of total content.
  • Transformation from text blocks to richer content blocks

SEO perspective

In addition to being persuasive to humans, our website must also be persuasive to search engine bots. This adds a number of rules for content preparation. For example, the file names of pictures on a particular landing page must correspond with the key phrase for that page.

Project risk management perspective

Content preparation recommendations help manage project risks by reducing the number of errors and the time spent on miscommunication between creatives, content writers, programmers, and other team members. Having content early helps people who work on later phases to better understand the context of the project

Content production

Most of the content was prepared at the idea stage!

This allowed the team to understand the context of the project in the sketches, wireframes, design samples, and programming process.

This is very rare (we’ve only experienced it a few times out of thousands of digital projects since 1998) because clients usually decide to postpone content creation until the later phases of the project.

Digital brandbook

The rules from the offline brand book were transferred to the digital space: colors, fonts, interface, icons, visuals, menus, interactivity, blocks, and general composition for both desktop and mobile.

Since one of our main target audiences is young people, we added playful, contemporary design elements to the rule set during this process.

The biggest challenge at this stage was creating overlaps between different types of content blocks. Since there are 50+ different blocks, we had to consider how they could aesthetically flow from one to another. Each block had to go together with any other block and feel as if the landing page was tailor-made by the designer. Two examples are shown below:

At this stage, we took the result produced by the marketing creatives and had to turn it into an interactive entity. Until now, the storytelling had been linear. However, the digital experience is not, so our next step was to add functionality for different user behavior scenarios while consuming the content we provide

Structure flattening

The 8-level structure was flattened to a maximum of 4 levels. The total project scope of 1000+ sub-pages was decreased by approximately two times through:

  • Moving some content to the intranet.
  • Rewriting long texts into short ones.
  • Visualizing content presentation to richer formats.

<—–Check out the size of the old website’s sitemap on the left.


The general logic for the wireframes had already been addressed and pre-approved at the idea, storytelling, and content preparation phases.

Although the wireframe was large in size, it was not too complex to produce.

All unique pages of the website were transformed into a desktop wireframe.

Wireframe’s usability was expert – tested and fine-tuned.

Most pages were already with content in this phase.

After reviewing the content in the wireframe, we updated the recommendations for better readability and a richer experience.

Functional requirements

A functional requirements document was prepared, which described:

  1. Rules for information input (backend/CMS).
  2. Rules for information output (frontend).
  3. Rules for third-party integrations.
  4. Requirements for system architecture, server side.
  5. Content management system requirements.
  6. Security requirements.
  7. Other rules and requirements

We were impressed by the attention to detail and comprehensive analysis of the project: it felt as if every challenge was foreseen and dealt with precision.

Grytė Žitkienė LSMU Head of Communications Department


Before entering this phase, the project team had already answered most of the creative questions, including:

  1. the creative idea,
  2. content,
  3. digital brand book,
  4. wireframe with content.

During the design phase, we brought everything together.


Although the project was large in terms of elements, it was relatively simple in terms of programming complexity. WordPress was used for content management, and a few integrations with other systems were implemented. The most interesting solution from a programming perspective was a website version for disabled users, including:

  1. text size management,
  2. contrast management,
  3. adaptation for dyslexia.

From the content editor’s perspective, the project is easy to use for everyday tasks, even for someone with minimal WordPress experience.

With 50+ different info block designs, new sub-pages can be constructed without developer’s help, and each time they will look like they were made by a professional designer.

Final phase

Final phase has included:

  1. Content upload
  2. Testing
  3. Bug-fixes
  4. Preparation of manual
  5. Content management system training
  6. Migration to client service
  7. Public launch
  8. Setup of measuring system

The expertise of the team was especially shown both when working with a particularly large amount of information, its systematization, as well as when working with people - managing the expectations of more than 20 stakeholders.

Grytė Žitkienė LSMU Head of Communications Department

Questions -> Answers

What was the biggest risk from project management perspective?

There were 20+ stakeholders with different agendas and objectives, which could have led to project failure if unmanaged.

We decided to approach each group of needs separately, splitting the project into many smaller ones with independent sub-project attributes (team, scope, brief, structure, etc.).

At the final stages, all these sub-projects were merged into one.

What was the best shortcut?

“The best decision was to have the content early. It was produced in the creative phase (extremely early in the project), so all people who worked on later phases of production were on the same page.”

In your case study you do not mention mobile. How about it?

The project is responsive. We didn’t mention it because it is a basic functionality of every project these days.

From the data we collected, we saw that the majority of potential customers from the regions the client was interested in are interacting with universities through desktop, so all prototyping and testing was done for desktop first. Mobile was addressed at the design phase after the desktop design was approved.

What could have been done better?

Audience range could be considered too wide. We analyzed a wide range of target audiences, for example “foreign potential students,” and built storytelling for them. To be more efficient, the next step would be deeper segmentation:

  • EU/non-EU students
  • Country segmentation within the EU (different countries perceive Lithuania differently)
  • Study program segmentation. When a person is making a decision on a particular study program, they compare several programs. Knowing which programs are compared most of the time allows us to create the most persuasive user experience on a landing page promoting one program. Ideally, a few hundred product-related sub-pages of this project could be approached like independent advertising projects with their own brief, analysis, positioning, creative idea, search engine, media strategy, etc. However, we have built the thinking framework and tools for this to happen.”

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